Two Minneapolis women were seriously injured Saturday afternoon at the Drive-In restaurant in Taylors Falls when a sport-utility vehicle backed into their picnic table. Both women were pinned under the vehicle and one was submerged under water.
The women, ages 36 and 52, were airlifted to Regions Hospital in St. Paul, the Chisago County Sheriff’s Office said. Their identities and the identity of the driver have not been released pending family notification.
Drive-In owner Wade Vitalis said the driver, who had pulled up to an ordering stall, was looking for a drive-through restaurant. “She seemed a little bit confused,” Vitalis said. At approximately 2:15 p.m., the driver backed up the SUV, running into the table and up an embankment. He said the two women seated at the table were pinned, and one was submerged in a stream that runs through the picnic area.
“It was a pretty intense thing for everybody here,” Vitalis said.
Bystanders rushed to the victims’ aid, moving the vehicle and performing CPR on the woman who was in the water.
“There was an amazing outpouring of 15 people who came out of nowhere to help,” Vitalis said. “We’re hoping and praying her life was saved.”
The eatery next to the St. Croix River is a popular day-trip spot for travelers from the Twin Cities. The restaurant shut down for part of the afternoon for the investigation but reopened in the evening.
The incident is under investigation by the Chisago County Sheriff’s Office and the Minnesota State Patrol.